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On Airlines, By Level of Evil

When Continental was bought out by United, I died a little. I swear they did it just to destroy a competitor who made them look bad...

Posted on November 30, 2012 at 12:40 pm 0

On David Mamet Is 65

Good heavens! Tom Stoppard deserves a mention here, surely.

Posted on November 30, 2012 at 12:30 pm 1

On War Criminal Protested for War Criminalism

I hate to be pedantic (or do I?) but technically the crime of aggression (committed when Blair authorized a war of aggression) has been considered a crime against peace since Nuremburg. However, since there is no clear cognate ('peace criminal'?) I guess I'm o.k. with calling Blair a war criminal instead.

Posted on May 29, 2012 at 1:35 pm 0

On Fact-Checking Beyond America

Elif Batuman is an excellent writer. That is all.

Posted on April 25, 2012 at 10:55 am 0

On Question-Begging

This concept is well defined in argumentation theory, and it's actually fairly important for anyone trying to teach critical thinking.

It refers to an argument that asks a listener to accept a premise that is actually the conclusion in disguise. Example: We can conclude that God exists because the Bible says so --after all the Bible is the word of God.

Note that this is fallacious reasoning since the disguised conclusion does not actually provide any argumentative support. It's just that simple.

Posted on March 12, 2012 at 12:34 pm 1

On Survey Says! The Complete Online Dating Advice Guide for Men

@garge ... and at the risk of vulgarity, I'll rejoinder that some men (myself included) live by that dictum that draws a parallel between the ideal size and the champagne coupe. (I guess I need to invent a flattering and catchy metaphor for short stature. Sadly, no such contrarian argument expressing an aesthetic preference for smaller men exists.

Posted on February 14, 2012 at 9:16 pm 0

On Survey Says! The Complete Online Dating Advice Guide for Men

@Niko Bellic Good point. If people are concerned about youthfulness/maturity, they can always get a good enough sense from the a good profile. There's no good reason for this to be a required field either -- perhaps it could be hidden data used for purposes of filtering, at maximum.

Posted on February 14, 2012 at 9:01 pm 0

On Survey Says! The Complete Online Dating Advice Guide for Men

@garge Not really looking for sympathy, but I do appreciate the thoughtful response. I'm actually making the tired point that both genders appear to be equally shallow, and perhaps the slightly fresher argument that the dating sites seem to cater to and encourage this baseness.

Posted on February 14, 2012 at 8:57 pm 1

On Survey Says! The Complete Online Dating Advice Guide for Men

@vespavirgin I think that's a perfectly reasonable response -- I only have a problem with a woman who is dissatisfied when her date is 5'8" rather than 5'10" -- I mean, if you admit you are 5'8" in your profile, people reading it will think you're 5'5". I'd rather be entirely honest than confess in a later e-mail that I'm only an 'internet 5'10", but the problem is that some non-jerks would otherwise filter me out based on this prisoner's dilemma problem created by the fact that the profile questions cater to the shallowest among us.

Posted on February 14, 2012 at 8:54 pm 0

On Survey Says! The Complete Online Dating Advice Guide for Men

The many comments about men's heights don't surprise me, but they do disappoint me. I think it is remarkable that this is actually a standard question on a dating site profile -- admittedly, it appears to be very important to many women, but it's incredibly crass to expect someone to list--with perfect accuracy--a statistic that may disqualify them for failing to live up to societal standards of a key secondary sexual characteristic. I mean, why not just ask women to include their bust size?

Posted on February 14, 2012 at 4:25 pm 4